Why AFSPA has been imposed in J&K and North East but not in LWE affected Areas? Explain.

Published: February 19, 2018

AFSPA provides armed forces with Special powers to deal with disturbed areas. AFSPA is in force in north east and Jammu Kashmir where India is facing the security challenges. But AFSPA is not used to fight against left wing extremism because

  • Spread: About 40% of geographical area of the country is under the threat of extremism. Areas from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh to Pashupati in Nepal are referred as red corridor. Deploying AFSPA in such a large area is not feasible in a democratic country like India.
  • The disturbed areas under AFSPA are located along the international border and the disturbed areas along the international border needs special attention so that security of the country is not threatened.
  • Naxals are fighting government but the groups in disturbed areas are fighting state. Therefore there is a need special provision to fight the elements which are threatening the state.
  • People associated with Naxalism even include large number of sympathizers. Therefore imposition of AFSPA is not viable to fight Naxalism.
  • Deployment of armed forces to deal with Naxalism will virtually lead to rule by armed forces in more than 40% of the country. This is not a welcome sign for democracy.
  • Causes for rise in Naxalism like lack of development, bureaucratic apathy, inequality can be dealt with without the interference of armed forces.

Intervention by armed forces would be weapon of last resort. Naxalism is a menace which has to be dealt with firm hand against those violating law by keeping open for avenues for dialogue with those ready for peaceful discussions. Therefore armed forces intervention for fighting Naxalism is not a viable option in India.

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